BELTON — During a hearing on Tuesday, attorneys agreed to set a trial date for next year for a man accused of murdering a Killeen police detective in 2014.
March 23, 2020, is one of at least two other trial dates previously set for Marvin Louis Guy, 54, who remains in the Bell County Jail on bonds totaling $4 million on four capital felonies.
He is accused of shooting KPD SWAT Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie, and injuring three other officers, on May 9, 2014, when officers tried to serve a no-knock warrant at Guy’s home on Circle M Drive.
Dinwiddie died in a hospital two days later. Guy, a suspected drug dealer, has said that he did not know it was police officers who were entering the apartment and that he fired in self-defense during the 5 a.m. raid.
Jury selection will begin in January, when 1,600 people will appear at the courthouse over the course of two days in order to fill out jury questionnaires and begin the voir dire process. Voir dire is the process by which the court system attempts to ensure an impartial jury by determining biases and other reasons a person might not be allowed to serve.
The first 800 people will appear on Jan. 14 and another 800 people will appear on Jan. 16, according to courtroom discussions on Tuesday in the 27th Judicial District Court.
“It might take a month, or longer, to get a jury,” said Judge John Gauntt on Tuesday.
After the state and defense teams review the questionnaires for two weeks, attorneys will meet in February in court to interview potential jurors and two alternates.
At the beginning of the status hearing on Tuesday, Gauntt asked each side if they had any remaining motions and if they were ready to proceed to trial.
“I have been in a posture to get a trial date and to try this case,” said Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza.
The defense has a few more hurdles ahead, however, according to Carlos Garcia, Guy’s lead defense attorney.
“We expect to file other motions, some evidentiary and some not,” he told the judge. Garcia also said he has filed subpoenas to get access to Guy’s medical records because Guy’s medical needs might affect a trial date.
“We keep hitting roadblocks but it’s something we all want to know,” Garcia said.
Attorneys are barred from speaking about the case, aside from courtroom hearings that are public, because of a gag order imposed by Gauntt in 2015.
Guy originally had a trial date set for March, 2016, which was nixed because Garcia had just been appointed to the case and he was asking for more evidence in the case, according to FME News Service on Jan. 7, 2016. In 2017, attorneys and the court set jury selection to begin in January 2018, but that date was canceled also, according to FME News Service on May 8, 2018.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 3 to discuss the content of the jury questionnaires.